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Barça o Barzaq | Senegal 2023

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In Senegal, around two million people depend on fishing as a means of livelihood. For many years, local fishermen have been unable to stop foreign industrial fishing vessels, mostly from Europe, China, and Russia, from taking away tons of fresh fish from Senegalese waters. These vessels do not even stop in Senegal on their way back, making it difficult for the authorities to verify the catches' quantity and quality.

Fishing is not only an economic pillar in Senegal but also a cultural element upon which the multifaceted Senegalese society is founded. The traditional and artisanal fishing techniques used by local fishermen are no match for the modern techniques used by Western countries. One industrial fishing vessel can catch up to 20,000 tonnes of fish per year, equivalent to about 1,700 traditional fishing boats. Greenpeace and FAO have warned about the long-term risks of this indiscriminate exploitation of resources, including the risk of food insecurity for around 40 million people. The fish is often processed into fishmeal and then exported to Western countries to be used as feed in fish farms. These farms are a major cause of ocean pollution. The result of this exploitation of resources is an increasing number of fishermen forced to migrate to Europe in search of a better livelihood. Sadly, many of them never return. Around two million people in Senegal rely on fishing to support themselves. However, foreign industrial fishing vessels from Europe, China, and Russia are taking large quantities of fresh fish from Senegalese waters, and the local fishermen are unable to stop them. These vessels do not even stop in Senegal on their way back, making it difficult for the authorities to verify the quality and quantity of their catches.

Fishing is crucial to the Senegalese economy and culture, but local fishermen are at a disadvantage compared to modern Western fishing techniques. One industrial fishing vessel can catch up to 20,000 tonnes of fish per year, equivalent to about 1,700 traditional fishing boats. This excessive fishing poses long-term risks to the environment and food security for around 40 million people, as warned by Greenpeace and FAO. The fish caught is often processed into fishmeal, which is exported to Western countries to be used as feed in fish farms. However, these farms are a significant cause of ocean pollution. As a result of the overfishing, more and more fishermen are leaving Senegal to find better livelihoods in Europe. Sadly, many of them never return.

Full reportage published by InsideOver

Senegal, 2023